Where to Find the Best Christmas Tree in SF : 2017
Christmas in San Francisco is magical. The Downtown high rises are draped in festive lights, trees grace commercial lobbies and friendly neighborhood windows, and the SF SPCA pets move into the windows at Macy's. The City becomes a snow-free wonderland.
No Christmas in SF is complete without a trip to a local tree lot, the very-SF experience of trying to convince an Uber/Lyft/Taxi driver to pick you up with your newfound tree, or awkwardly lugging said tree home on foot. I'm a sucker for gigantic trees, and would love a 14-footer, but usually settle for seven or eight feet. This is my second year getting a Silver Tipped Fir, and I'm obsessed. They're modern, seem to keep their needles well, and have a rustic, sculptural aspect to them.
I've updated my list of Christmas tree lots, and added our new favorite, Christmas Tree Jamboree, to the list. Expert tip: You can put your naked tree out post-Christmas and Recology will collect it with your trash, but only until January 12. It needs to go out on your regular trash day, or they won't take it.
Where to get a tree:
Christmas Tree Jamboree. This year we tried something new, and drove down to Bayshore to get a tree. The people were super friendly, there was no pressure to buy, and they had a great selection. I'll definitely be coming back here! Our tree is one of the healthiest I've ever gotten, and was $30 cheaper than I paid last year.
Marina Middle School used to be my favorite. They seem to have just enough of a selection that you can find what you want, but still avoid being overwhelmed. Prices are very reasonable, and proceeds benefit Marina Middle School students.
Gaurdsmen's Lot in Fort Mason probably has the biggest selection of trees in The City. The Gaurdsmen have been selling trees since 1947. The operation is powered 100% by volunteers, and all the proceeds go to sending kids to summer camp. Prices range from $30 to $795 for the largest 16-18 feet tall trees. They'll cut a fresh end on your tree of choice, carry it to the front for you, and tie it to your car. For an extra fee, they'll deliver it and set it up.
Started in 1971, Delancy Street is the country's leading residential self-help organization for ex-cons, former substance abusers, homeless people, and others who have hit rock bottom. There are a few Delancy Street tree lots around the Bay Area and six in The City. Sales of trees benefit this non-profit, and help people get back on their feet.
Emerald Forest Christmas Trees and Great Pumpkin Patch was an annual tradition along 19th Avenue in the Sunset for as long as I can remember. This year they've moved to a much larger space behind Stonestown Mall, and it seems like they have a larger selection. If you're in the Sunset, check them out!
If you're worried about the sustainability aspect of a cut fresh tree, many of which are farmed locally for this exact purpose, you can always lease a live tree. Plantman offers rental throughout the Bay Area in even in LA. a 6'-7' tree will run you $200+ a $40 for city delivery. Basically, they deliver the tree, which is still alive and in a pot, to your house, you enjoy it for 25 days, and they pick it up. After a couple years or nomadic life, the tree gets planted.